Using Wordpress as Social Media to Educate and Interact with Clientele


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Using Wordpress as Social Media to Educate and Interact with Clientele
by John Wells

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  • Introduction
  • Show old Jefferson Site sites were hardly ever updated. Most content was static, had endless loops of links…Agriculture > Crops > Agronomic Crops > links to EDIS…***The big one is integration with Social Media. How do we tap into Social Media, how do we do it without creating an enormous amount of work for our agents, and how do we tie it all together?
  • We have great social networking sites that our clients use every single day, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. What Wordpress offered us was a simple way to tie them all together automatically. *And we can do that through the RSS feeds. Through RSS feeds we can syndicate our posts, newsletters, and upcoming events out to all these social media sites automatically. To get the most bang for our buck on this, we decided to go with a Wordpress Multi-site installation. That way we could have separate RSS feeds for each individual program area. Many of our program areas have their own Facebook or Twitter sites. That way the local county 4-H Facebook site isn’t filled up with Agriculture articles, and vice versa. Keeping the RSS feeds separate also makes since, so we can push targeted, relevant information out other sites and our clients without pushing irrelevant data to them as well.The third leg of that stool that we developed is the UF/IFAS Subscription Management System. Here, clients can sign up to receive information on topics or newsletters they are interested in through email.
  • How do we push our RSS feeds out to the social media sites? We tried a few different options, but the one we settled on was It’s a free, third party service that allows you to pull from any RSS feed and publish that information on multiple social media sites automatically. Since we opted for the Multi-Site installations, we can push only the relevant program areas to our Social Media sites. Or in cases where a county may only have one Facebook or Twitter site, we can still push several RSS feeds to that site.
  • Not only did we want a way to share our feeds with social media sites, we wanted to be able to share them with each other.We turned to an Auto-blogging software called WP-Robot to help us with this.WP-Robot reads our RSS feeds and will copy the post onto another blog in the network. This is useful in several ways:Primarily we needed it to syndicate our newsletters across the district. We didn’t want every county to have to repost a newsletter article on their own site every time someone wrote one. WP-Robot allows all our agents to enter their articles in a central location on the District website, and then copies it out to all the county websites automatically.WP-Robot also allows us to share posts between neighboring counties or counties that lack expertise in a particular program area. a. For example, perhaps you have 2-3 nearby county offices that often do shared 4-H events. You could set up a 4-H site for that tri-county area that would push that feed out to all three of those counties every time a new post was made. b. Another example, suppose you have a smaller county that doesn’t have a Horticulture agent. …
  • The impact of all of this was dramatic. We launched a majority of our county’s Wordpress sites in January of this year.Comparing the hit data from January – May of this year (in the Green) verses last year (in the Gray), you can see even one of our smaller county offices like Wakulla had a dramatic increase.** They went from about 3,300 hits this time last year to about 10,500 this year.
  • Our District website saw huge improvement as well.We went from about 972k hits this time last year to over 2 million hits so far this year.Obviously this isn’t just because we changed the look or format of our site to Wordpress. The key is the integration and automation that Wordpress allows with Social Media. TRANSITION TO LES/SCOTT:I’ve brought with me two of our agents to share their experience with the new Wordpress system, and different ways they are using Wordpress with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the SMS system to help bring this all together.
  • Using JetPack Stats Plug-in – number one referring term “Artificial Reef”. Request from Advisory Members and Public. We are giving them a way to help. Utilizing their assets, resources, skills, and motivation. Anticipate this will be successful. Have to address how to handle public records requirements for Florida.
  • Using Wordpress as Social Media to Educate and Interact with Clientele

    2. 2. THE PROBLEMS• Our Sites were OLD and Out of Date• Most of our faculty did not actively participate in updating the program areas on their sites• No Content Management System – many of our faculty didn’t feel comfortable updating their sites• No ability to update on mobile platforms• Did not integrate with Social Media
    3. 3. WAKULLA COUNTY Comparing Wakulla Hits January - May to Previous Year250200150100 50 0 2012 2011 HITS JAN-MAY 2011: 3,315 HITS JAN-MAY 2012: 10,529
    4. 4. Hits 2011: 972,673 Hits 2012: 2,018,942 Hits Compared from January – May on District Website35,00030,00025,00020,00015,00010,000 5,000 0 Hits 2012 (Wordpress) Hits 2011 (Static)
    5. 5. The Challenge ofMicroblogging from the field:Solution needs to be quick and simple with little distraction to our clientele and programs
    6. 6. Not the Place or Time for Tags and Coding
    7. 7. Wordpress iOS
    8. 8. •Point •Shoot •Email•Blog Post•Tweet•FB Post
    9. 9. Wordpress is a Home that complements Social Media• Prolongs the life of Tweets and Facebook posts• Provides a searchable index blogs and information• Not limited to 180 characters
    10. 10. What’s Next…Help from Divers and Fishers
    11. 11. Using Word-Press as Social Media toEducate and Interact with Clientele – A County PerspectiveLes HarrisonWakulla County (FL) Extension DirectorMay 29, 2012
    12. 12. All ExtensionWork is Local
    13. 13. Clients Need must be Grouped
    14. 14. We can no longer depend solely on paper and the post office to reach• Expensive clientele.• Ignores Client Stratification• Too Slow• Too Easy to Miss
    15. 15. Reach Clientswith a new tools Subscription Management System
    16. 16. Client SelfSelection &Management
    17. 17. AgentsManage “theMessage” and Data
    18. 18. County Extension Faculty can now easily push information as they see it, video it, teach it, study it.
    19. 19. Results•Speed, versatility, reduced distributioncosts and greater resource efficiencies.•A comprehensive digital information andclientele management system.•Effective use of new, user-friendlytechnologies.•Searchable record of informationpresented.•MORE CLIENTS REACHED WITH MOREINFORMATION
    20. 20. Questions?